- Title: Austria to introduce border checks with Switzerland, impose more flight bans
- Date: 13th March 2020
- Summary: VIENNA, AUSTRIA (MARCH 13, 2020) (REUTERS) AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR SEBASTIAN KURZ, INTERIOR MINISTER, KARL NEHAMMER AND HEALTH MINISTER RUDOLF ANSCHOBER ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (German) AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR, SEBASTIAN KURZ, SAYING: "There are some countries where the virus is spreading especially rapidly: Spain, France and Switzerland. We are therefore forced to cut flight connections with these countries from Monday and to conduct border checks at the Swiss border the way we are already doing it with Italy." REPORTERS SEATED (SOUNDBITE) (German) AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR, SEBASTIAN KURZ, SAYING: "Paznauntal valley and St. Anton am Arlberg will be put under quarantine. These areas will be isolated from now on. Austrians living in the towns of Ischgl, See, Kappl, Galtuer and St. Anton am Arlberg and Austrian holidaymakers along with all those working in these towns will of course be properly serviced. Already in 14 days they will have the chance to continue their normal lives." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS CAMERAMAN (SOUNDBITE) (German) AUSTRIAN INTERIOR MINISTER, KARL NEHAMMER, SAYING: "Foreign guests who are currently in the area may leave. They will be asked not to stop but to make their home quickly. At the same time their identity will be determined and health authorities of their home countries will be informed of the people on their way back with the order to self-isolate at home in order to contain the virus in these countries if it should come to an infection." REPORTER TAKING NOTES (SOUNDBITE) (German) AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR, SEBASTIAN KURZ, SAYING: "From Monday on restaurants, bars and cafes will only be open until 3 p.m. Shops will stay closed, but I emphasise: of course this doesn't apply to supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, pet food, chemists, post offices and other areas which are needed for supply of essential goods." REPORTERS LISTENING KURZ AND NEHAMMER LEAVING
- Keywords: austrian chancellor sebastian kurz border closures coronavirus flight ban switzerland
- Reuters ID: LVA001C4VVX3B
- Location: VIENNA, AUSTRIA
- City: VIENNA, AUSTRIA
- Country: Austria
- Duration: 00:02:49
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text:Austria will introduce border checks with Switzerland and Liechtenstein and ban flight connections with France, Spain and Switzerland from Monday to slow the spread of coronavirus, the government said on Friday (March 13).
The coronavirus reached Austria from neighbouring Italy, which has suffered Europe's deadliest outbreak, but it has yet to take hold as firmly.
Austria reported its first death on Thursday and has 432 cases so far, in contrast to the more than 15,000 cases and more than 1,000 deaths in Italy to its south.
The Alpine country on Wednesday shut its border to people coming from Italy, except for goods vehicles and some other categories such as people transiting Austria without stopping.
No restrictions have been imposed along Austria's northern border with Germany.
Austria also has flight bans in place for Italy, China, Iran and South Korea - all with some of the world's worst coronavirus outbreaks.
It will also "lock down" two popular tourist regions in the mountainous province of Tyrol - the Paznauntal and St. Anton am Arlberg, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said.
Commercial activity in Austria apart from pharmacies, food shops and other stores selling essential goods and services will be suspended starting on Monday. Bars and restaurants will be open only until 3 p.m. and companies are requested to allow staff to work from home if possible, also from next week.
(Production: Alex Schuller, Michele Sani, Ulrike Heil)
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